DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (You may also download as a pdf)
- Where does your food come from? Pool your informal surveys of where your grocery store purchases come from. How much use do you make of local farmer’s markets?
How seasonal is your diet? Could you survive the winter and early spring on food
grown in Utah, or nearby states?
- Did you find surprises in data, graphs or text? What were the surprises? Are these products part of your diet? (Look at the charts on page 3, the circle graph on page 5, and the graph from Envision Utah on page 11.)
- What is your vision for Utah farmland in the future? How does this vision match the growth and development you see today? Explain.
- Do the strategies for farmland preservation seem adequate? Why or why not? Do you have other strategies you would like considered? Describe them. (Review pages 13-16)
- Does saving farmland conflict with the LWVUT position on water for the environment? (LWVUT Water Position on bottom of p. 23, top p. 24.)
- Are you in general agreement with the measures for preserving farmland described in the study? Do you also think the LWVUT should have a position on preserving agriculture?
- Is your motive for preserving agriculture saving farms and farm families and culture, food sustainability, or protecting open space? Explain your answer and list your priories.
- More than 80% of Utah’s water supply is currently consumed by agriculture. If League members suspect there will be less water in the future and the LWVUT water position suggests we should be returning more of our water to our lakes and streams, is it rational to take measures to keep farmers farming at the expense of environmental and human needs? Should our position on preservation of farms reflect our concerns about the environment and human needs?
- The study suggests that agriculture, especially raising animals, is a major source of water pollution. Should LWVUT agriculture position reflect that analysis?
- Should the State Legislature mandate that cities and counties include an agricultural element in their General Plans? Currently, agriculture is rarely addressed by local governments.
- Should there be a statewide education program that helps people understand how small lifestyle changes can help to sustain agriculture in Utah such as eating less meat, reducing food waste, eating seasonally, buying as many local products as possible?
POSSIBLE SUGGESTIONS TO THE LWVUT BOARD (or your local league)
More information on environmental costs of current agricultural practices, developing technology for growing fruits and vegetables, and agricultural land policies outside of Utah and the U.S. (This seems to be suggesting one or more state or national studies.)
A study (or just an informational program) on the costs and benefits of world trade in agricultural products? (i.e., Utah alfalfa to China, U.S. rice exports to Haiti).
Suggestions for books for discussion.
General meeting ideas.